The China Earthquake Networks Center said the quake hit at 4:44 a.m. local time near Rongxian County in Sichuan and Deqen and Shangri-la counties in Yunnan.
The epicenter was at a depth of about 5.5 miles, the center said.
The quake destroyed 36 houses and damaged another 36, and affected nearly 4,000 people, a statement from the civil affairs bureau in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Deqen said.
Rongxian County government has dispatched 100 tents for disaster relief, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Yunnan province officials dispatched work teams to investigate the disaster area.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]